Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Walt Disney World Marathon Race Recap

Sunday morning I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon as the fourth and final race of the Dopey Challenge. In case you missed my previous recaps, check out my 5K race recap, 10K race recap and Half Marathon race recap!

Flat Carlee

Forever A while ago (seeing as I think we signed up for these races like 9 months ago) Megan, Krissy and I decided we wanted to run together. A couple months ago Krissy sent Megan and I a message and asked if we had any ideas for costumes. Neither of us did and defaulted to Krissy.  She said, "What about Huey, Dewey, and Louie?" PERFECT! We decided on white Sparkle Athletic skirts (which we all had), yellow Pro Compression socks/ sleeves (which thankfully they brought back in time for the other two ladies to pick some up), a plain tank top of our characters color, and a Sparkle Athletic visor to match "our" color. [I may have been the only one of us with KT Tape covered shoes and a duck beak.]

The weather for the marathon looked like it was going to be warmer than the other 3 races. They were also predicting some rain. The temperatures at the start were in the 40s (which was better than the 30s the previous days, but still a bit chilly), but at least there seemed to be less wind than the three prior races.

We knew it was supposed to warm up fairly quickly (they were saying it would be in the 70s by 10am, which was a DRASTIC jump from the previous few days when it didn't even get into the 60s during the warmest part of the day) and the humidity was also looking like it was going to be a factor. (My parents were on Main Street in Magic Kingdom, around mile 5, and said everyone going by was SOAKED early in the race.)

Megan had been training using the run/ walk method of Jeff Galloway (her coach). She wanted to run the first mile or so straight so we could try and break away from some of the pack before we started our walk intervals. Doing the 10K with Megan and her hubby on Friday was my first introduction to scheduled run/ walk intervals and I really enjoyed it, so I was down for whatever!

We started in Corral G so we could all run together - G for GOOF-TASTIC (or at least that was what I was saying... or maybe it was GOOF-ERIFIC?!). The corrals seemed to be being released every 3-5 minutes like the Half Marathon the day before. We moved our way up towards the starting line as the earlier corrals were being released and started getting rid of our extra layers (we may or may not have looked like hobos in our garbage bags and throwaway garb ;)).

The starting line

Then it was our turn! Runners.... Set.... GO!

Krissy and I were going to let Megan dictate the race and pace. Megan originally had a couple goal times in mind (Goal A: Sub-4:30, Goal B: Sub-4:50, Goal C: Finish upright with a SMILE), but we decided the main goal of the race would be to PR in FUN and see what the day would bring! I mean, how often do you get to run a race with two amazing friends (one of whom lives in Michigan and the other in Florida)?! I was going to make every minute and step count!

This is a bit deceiving... It says Magic Kingdom, but you still have about 2 miles
from this sign before you get there... 

My parents decided that instead of trying to watch the start (which they did for the half the day before and couldn't really see me) they would go straight to the Magic Kingdom and post up on Main Street. Brent, Megan's hubby, was also planning on being around the castle. Other than the quick pit stop at the Transportation and Ticket Center (for a "real" bathroom), we were keeping great time. We didn't stop at any of the first character stops because we weren't sure if we were going for a time finish or not, so didn't want to delay too much. We did stop and grab a quick picture with Danielle on the course though!

Thanks for the picture Danielle!!

We saw my parents on Main Street and stopped for a quick wave. (My dad is used to a point-and-shoot camera so our DSLR was throwing him off, but he was still able to catch a couple fun shots of us as we went by.)

There you are Peter!


All smiles!!

So happy to see my spectating parents on the course!!

Blurry because we are soooooooooo speedy!

After seeing my parents we started looking for Brent. He is pretty tall (check out the pictures of us from the 10K on Friday), so we figured he would be easy to spot (also, he was wearing a high-vis yellow vest). We made our way to where we thought he would be, but we couldn't find him. Megan ended up having to call him. The run tracker texts that were being sent out were on the 5 MILE mark instead of the 5K mark, so he was at the train station (thinking he still had time to make it to the castle before we got there) when Megan got ahold of him.

LOVE that the castle was still lit up from Christmas for the race!

Why not take a castle selfie while Megan tries to find Brent?

We knew we would need to slow down a bit so we could meet up with Brent, so we stopped for a couple character pictures before coming out of the castle. The pictures on my phone never really turn out great in the dark, so thankfully I am buying the photo package and we will have the "professional" ones as well.

The blur of the white rabbit, because he is always running late!

The photographer did a "burst" of photos on my phone,
so one of them had the flash of the professional photographer
to help light us up... 

Brent made his way to the castle so we pulled over and waited for him to get there. We didn't have to wait long, but while we did I figured I'd take a quick picture of the stunning castle!

Um, HELLO?! Amazing, right?! 

Once we saw Brent and took a couple pictures (I haven't seen them yet, but hopefully they are awesome!), we took off again. Megan seemed to be in a better place once we saw her hubby, so we kept on trucking!

After leaving the parks we could tell the humidity was starting to rise quickly. We were pretty soggy and figured we would probably need to adjust our time goals a bit. We never really discussed throwing them out the window, but we all realized that our time TOGETHER was MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than the time on the clock, so we were going to enjoy ourselves!

Cue the character stops! We didn't stop for all of them, but we did get in EIGHTEEN! There were some we missed at the beginning of the race because we weren't sure about our game plan, others that had long lines, and still others that we weren't too excited for, but the ones that we did stop for we made sure to make them count!

Loved the Mickey made out of lights

Golfing Donald, Goofy and the ducks :)

The villains... They scared us!

Who doesn't love a Country Bear or three?! 

Little John, Friar Tuck and Robin Hood!

Jiminy Cricket with Huey, Dewey, and Louie!

Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE the magic of Disney, but I haven't really been to Walt Disney World in like forever... My parents and I went to Magic Kingdom for one day after the Princess Half in 2013, but before that it had probably been about 23 YEARS since being at WDW. With that being said, I was not 100% sure of the parks or scenery we were running by. Of course it made me smile, but I just wanted to let you know that is why I am not necessarily giving a break down of the course.

We saw Kristin and Carrie while we were running and HAD to take a mid-race selfie! [Those ladies are a hoot!]

Krissy was so excited that she was the "tall" one in the picture!

It kept working out that most of the character stops would happen on our scheduled walk interval. We would wait in line, grab a quick picture, run away and then figure out which interval we were on. It seemed to work out great for us.

(It smelled like garlic bread right near here... What a cruel joke!)

The ladies!!

Sometimes the candid pictures make me chuckle!

Safari Mickey and the ducks!

Phineas and Ferb.
There wasn't a professional photographer here (probably using the
bathroom ;) ), so Krissy took Megan and my photo.

My parents were planning on being at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, so we knew we would get another burst of energy. It seemed like we wrapped around this area of the course for a while (like 4 miles worth I think), but at least we got to see my parents behind home plate! (PS We went and saw the Tigers play the Braves during Spring Training here in 2013!!) Oh yeah, and I can't forget that I cheered the MICHIGAN FIGHT SONG while running around here - HAIL!!

Sporty Chip and Dale


Even though the fence is in the pictures, I still love them!


Huey, Dewey and Louie still going strong around Mile 18


And we are OFF!

After we saw my parents (they would then take the bus back to Epcot to meet us at the finish line), we noticed the sky was getting a little darker. (Around 8am or so we had about 30 minutes of sun, but after that it was mostly cloudy.) Krissy mentioned that at least if it rained it wouldn't be for the majority of the race since we were already around mile 20.

Well, just about then is when the sky decided it needed to piddle on us... It started off more as a drizzle, but eventually turned into rain. Thankfully it only seemed to last for about 3 or 4 of our miles. (And shoot, at least at this point you couldn't tell the difference between our sweat and the rain drops. :) )

We saw a few more characters as we made our way towards Epcot for the fourth time in four days.

I guess I was showing the girls what our pose should be?!


We thought we would try and SCARE you... Did it work?!

Krissy was telling the fairy she was a figment of our imaginations

Anyone know who this lady/ fairy is?! 

We also saw Carrie from Sparkle Athletic cheering runners on (can I just say how much I LOVE that?!).

Thanks to Carrie for capturing this magical moment!

As we made our way through Epcot we knew our journey was coming to an end. We had a BLAST, but I have to say, I was getting a little sad knowing that we were almost done with the adventure.

The girls!


Duffy Bear and the ducks!

I have to be honest, my legs felt great the whole race. Sure, they were a bit tired, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well they were holding up after the three races and then being on my feet for 5+ hours for the marathon. The only thing that was a little achey was my back, but that was more from the hotel bed than the running. Guess that means my training (recovery and all of the Pro Compression gear) worked, right?! (Coach Krissy knows what she is talking about!)

Oh yeah, before I forget, I wanted to talk about my fueling for the race. I brought Clif Shot Bloks along with me. I was planning on taking 3 Bloks every 6 miles. (I cut the packages in half so they were easier to get the Bloks out while running.) I ended up taking 3 around mile 6. Then I grabbed a banana around mile 12 (ish) from the voluntEARs. I didn't take more Bloks until around mile 22. I did take water at all of the stops (we would walk through the water stops as to not choke on the liquid ;)). By the end I was a little hungry, but I didn't feel like I was running on empty at any point.

My parents were waiting at the finish line for us. My mom was able to grab some pictures and my dad took a little video of us running by (his iPhone 4 quality doesn't translate well on YouTube, but on his phone it looked great :)).

Heading towards the finish line!

Just around the river bend!

So close!

A little rain never bothered us anyway!

I might look deranged in this one...


I might win by a beak!

Just like with the Half Marathon finish, they have now posted the "live feed" of the finish line up on the web for folks to see (and can I just say THANKS to all of my friends cheering us on virtually and watching the feed to see us finish?! YOU ALL ARE AWESOMESAUCE!!). You can hear Carrisa give me, Megan and Krissy a shout out (she even recognizes our Huey, Dewey and Louie costumes and calls out our Sparkle skirts!) around 4:13:12 and then we appear on the screen a few seconds later!

Thanks for the shout out Carissa, it really made me SMILE!!

We crossed the finish line around 5:16. Even though we didn't break any speed records, I wouldn't have had it any other way!

No I didn't wear my duck beak the whole time. I would pull it up for the
photo ops. But even so I still felt like I had blisters on the top of my ears
and a bruise on my nose from it ;) 

Oh yeah, and around mile 24 Krissy came up with the idea that we HAD to take a picture after we finished making the "duck face" to go with our outfits (I think a little of the runners "high" had set in at that point and we thought everything was a great idea)... I don't think any of us have actually done the face for a picture before, so you can see we need a little practice. And a BIG thanks to Jillian for staying at the finish to see us cross (and for grabbing this picture for us!)!

We're so sexy!

And we also had to recreate the picture we based our costumes off of!

Pretty close, right?!

We look pretty awesome for just having run close to 27 miles (uh, yeah, for
some reason we are NOT good at running tangents... must has been chasing
down all of the characters ;))

It was an absolute pleasure to be able to run alongside of Megan and Krissy for the WDW Marathon. I said it after we finished and it stand true forever, this weekend will be a favorite of mine for a long time to come! HARD TO TOP ALL OF THE MEMORIES THAT WERE MADE!

The participant shirt and medal
(I wore this shirt under my 5K outfit because it was so cold and windy that morning)



Is it more important for you to get a PR in time or in fun? 


Bain said...

For a Disney race, it's all about the FUN! Oh who am I kidding. For every race I run, it's about the fun. Did I mention I stopped to pet a super sweet tank of a bulldog named Nacho during the half?

Two Runners Travel said...

Ahhhh so fun!!! Loved reading about your adventures! So glad you gals had a super fun race! -c

@DownEastSteve said...

I was steered here from a friend's post. Fantastic race recap!! And numerous wonderful photos that will cement for you forever a stellar, challenging, and bonding race weekend spent with some truly good friends. Congratulations!

Unknown said...

Looks like you had a great time with friends! I ran this race last year and it was awesome :)
Karen @karenlovestorun

andi miller said...

I loved your recap. You ladies are awesome and inspiring. RockStars! I didn't fair as well in my marathon so hearing about your experience was great! By the way the lady in pink you took your pic with is a fairy godmother in training. We always get our pic with her at the princess half. She is super funny :)

Fairytales and Fitness said...

I ran this race with my sister and since I was injured it was all about fun, not PR's. Ya'll look so darling in your costumes!

Meridith said...

Um, you all are super duper adorable! Way to go!!!

Emily - Haute Chocolate Runner said...

Not THAT is "funning!!!!!!!" What a cool experience for you guys. And your costumes?!?!?! Totally rad! CANNOT WAIT until Phoenix!!!

John @ run. geek. run(disney) said...

Looks like a fantastic time. Getting a PR in fun is pretty good too. Costumes were great. Love all the pictures.

Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes said...

It looks like it was a blast! I would totally love this race. Now to convince my hubby :)

Unknown said...

Seriously, I LOVE this race! It sounds like you guys had a great time and I'm so glad I ran in to you out there!

Next time we need to make sure to plan some time to hangout - I feel like this trip went by so quickly!

Lauren M. said...

It's cool to see others' pictures. I had Aladdin where you had Jasmine and Cinderellas fairy godmother to your pink fairy!

Jennifer @ The Final Forty said...

LOOOOVE your recap! You guys look like you're having such a blast! Great costume idea. Congrats on such a strong finish! :-D